Subject: Department Oratorical Contest Please inform all of your AREA contestants
With the big announcement that the national oratorical contest has been canceled there was some question about the viability of the Department contest. After consulting with the Commander and the Adjutant and giving them the time necessary to consult and discuss the situation, the decision was made to proceed with the DOG Oratorical Area and Department contests.
Please be sure your contestants and their parents are immediately informed of the National cancellation. Please alert me when you have made contact with your Area contestants so I can relay that info to the Commander and the Adjutant. I have made direct contact with the contestants in Area 2 and they are aware and ready to continue the competition.
Today’s announcement that National would award a $5000 scholarship to the certified DOG winner is a welcome message after the cancellation. That is $3000 more than the amount usually awarded a Department winner for appearing at the national contest.
The Department Contest on March 7, 2021 at 2:00 pm will be as shown on the Department Oratorical web page at the Classic Center in Athens, GA. Due to Covid restrictions attendance at the Department contest will be limited to 42 people including the contestants, their 2 parents/chaperones, the 7 judges, the 6 contest officials(Tabulators, timekeepers, judges briefing, contestants briefing, escorts and holding room monitors), the DOG Commander, DOG Adjutant, the SAL Detachment Commander, the SAL Detachment Adjutant, and the Legion Riders Commander. The 4 Area Chairs, 1 district legion representative from each contestant’s home District (the District Commander can designate and let me know so that person will be on the Classic Center health waiver list) and 1 Post representative from each contestant’s sponsoring post (the Post Commander can designate and let me know so that person will be on the Classic Center health waiver list).
The Classic Center has strict Covid protocol for those 42 who are attending as follows:
1. All contestants, parents, and legion officials that will be in attendance and all contest officials must complete an online health/waiver form and submit it before the contest. Each person must show their confirmation before they will be allowed into the venue. No form, no entry even for a contestant.
2. Any person who has been exposed to COVID in the two weeks prior to the contest will not be allowed entry.
3. Masks are required for everyone at all times except for contestants when they are speaking.
4. Hand sanitizer will be available in the main area, judges room and the contestants room.
This contest is about the speakers and making sure they learn about the constitution, develop their public speaking skills and learn about the great things the American Legion does for veterans and the youth of our state and country.
I look forward to hearing from you after you have informed your contestants about the national contest being cancelled and the new scholarship amount for the Department winner.
The contest will be sent out live on FB or Zoom or other platform. That information will be provided later.
Stay safe, cheer the speakers,
Joe C. Bishop
Senior Judge and Certified Mediator
P.O. Box 223
Dawson, GA 39842